Community gives opinions on code of conduct for Syracuse schools

SCSD board meeting


roomful of neighbors and parents gave their input on what Syracuse City Schools should do to address high suspension levels in the district.

Katie Sojewicz has three children in Syracuse City Schools, she also used to teach in the district for 17 years. She says one of the ways schools can bring suspensions down is with a strict zero tolerance policy of bad behavior and smaller classroom sizes.

"They can't keep doing this and at this rate it's gonna get much worse before it gets better," says Sojewicz." "Putting the money where it needs to be. You cannot put 200 more kids than there needs to be in a building and expect everyone to behave."

New State regulations have forced districts to update their code of conduct. Many parents were looking to talk about changes to the wording and changes to the drug and alcohol section to make it easier to understand.

"We can easily fix, like making it clear about out of school suspensions, making that language clearer," says Superintendent Sharon Contreras.

Solutions like smaller class sizes go beyond a fresh code of conduct.

"Certainly there's a fix, there's other schools across the country who have has success with this issue, there isn't an easy fix," says Sojewicz.

50 members from the Syracuse City School District are on a task force to re write the code of conduct for next school year. Several of them were here listening to these concerns from neighbors as they prepare to have a new code of conduct ready to be voted on in June.